A number of news services have report on the Connecticut legislature voting to "exonerate" witch convictions from the 17th century. For example, this article from wtnh.com news:
With distant family members looking on, Connecticut senators voted Thursday to absolve the 12 women and men convicted of witchcraft — 11 of whom were executed — more than 370 years ago and apologize for the “miscarriage of justice” that occurred over a dark 15-year-period of the state’s colonial history.
The Senate voted 33-1 in favor of a resolution that officially proclaimed their innocence. ... Some of the descendants recently learned through genealogy testing that they were related to the accused witches and have since lobbied the state’s General Assembly to officially clear their names.
I'm not familiar with the Connecticut constitution, but it seems that most states in the United States tend to follow the general format of the U.S. Consitution.
What part of the Connecticut constitution allows the legislature to do this? That would seem to violate separation of powers for the legislature to void a court decision. I can understand a pardon from the governor, since that tends to be an enumerated power. But the legislature?
Article XVIII of the Connecticut constitution mentions the separation of powers:
The powers of government shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them confided to a separate magistracy....
And article FIVE section 1 says that "The powers and jurisdiction of these courts shall be defined by law." But from my lay person understanding, allowing the legislature to define the "powers and jurisdiction" of the courts wouldn't allow the legislature to grant the power to themselves.
It looks like the Connecticut constitution doesn't enumerate legislative powers the way the U.S. Constitution does. And that sort of makes sense since "police powers" are granted to the states, and their legislatures can pretty much do anything that they want, as long as it isn't specifically prohibited by the state or U.S. Constitution.
But since Article FIVE says specifically that "powers of government shall be divided..." [emphasis added], it seems to my lay-person reasoning that the legislature couldn't intrude into court decision unless specifically authorized elsewhere in the Connecticut constitution.
The news article linked above mentions "Because it’s a resolution, it does not require the governor’s signature." Does that mean it's all for show? That it doesn't truly exonerate the victims?